Precious Stones: 1920s Gemstone Postcards from the British Museum

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Turquoise Spodumene Spinel Sapphire Rhombohedral Quartz-1 Hexagonal Euclase+etc. Entrance Emerald Diamonds Beryl

I sometimes get lost in Pala International’s “Gemformation” — a series of newsletters that comes out monthly and is compiled and backdated on their website. So much valuable information, much of it straight from the desk of the infamous Bill Larson, world-renowned gem and mineral expert. If you’re unfamiliar I highly recommend reading his story-book bio on his website, it is fascinating to say the least!

In the July 2016 edition, I was incredibly gaga over the collection of gemstone postcards created by the British Museum. The story goes, “According to a story by postcard-collector John Taylor in the Jan/Feb 2009 edition of Rocks & Minerals, these cards were printed in about the 1920s by Waterlow & Sons. The firm was an engraver of currency, postage stamps, and stock and bond certificates. James Waterlow’s son Sydney (1822–1906) eventually became Sheriff of the City of London, during which time he was knighted, and later became that city’s Lord Mayor.”

Each one is a piece of art and the colors are magnificient. Thanks to Bill Larson for digitizing these in the best way possible. There are forty cards total, all of which can be seen here. I’ve included quite a few favorites in this blog post–it was hard to narrow down my absolute favorites!

If you like information like this, feel free to sign up for the PalaGems’ Gemformation newsletter:

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Important Diamond Jewelry

CIRCA was contacted to examine these important Lucida cut top and pear shape bottom diamond earrings. Lucida is a patented cut by Tiffany & Co. The matching tops, 4 carats each, enhance the gorgeous 5 carat diamonds on each bottom to create quite an impact. Our client knew the right place to bring them for a check with quite an equal impact. Check out more examples and their stories below!

Unsigned 8 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Ring

This is an important 8 carat, cushion cut diamond. We just purchased it in our San Francisco office. Large diamonds are of particular interest to us at CIRCA. We always say, “We never met a client nor an important diamond we didn’t like.”

Unsigned 25 Carat Cushion Cut Fancy Yellow Diamond Ring

This 25 carat cushion cut fancy yellow diamond is quite a statement. Part of our client’s large inheritance, this ring was chosen as the first piece to sell. CIRCA was asked to help liquidate the estate and we paid a lot for the privilege. Whenever there is jewelry left behind, always think of CIRCA.

Unsigned 5 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Ring

Did you know that you can buy the ring of your dreams from CIRCA? With great attention to detail, we had this 5 carat cushion cut diamond ring created. We were happy to assist and after finding the perfect diamond, we created this special ring with a custom made mounting just in time for our clients’ wedding anniversary. He was thrilled, she was more thrilled, and we were thrilled to provide such wonderful service to our clients.

The post Important Diamond Jewelry appeared first on CIRCA.

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Q & A and Visit with Raquel Alonso Perez of Harvard’s Museum of Natural History

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My very last stop while in Boston, hours before my flight took off, I had planned the best parting gift–a visit to Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History! Sounds dreamy, right?! Well it is and then some. An entire room filled with thousands of minerals and gems is open to the public on Harvard’s campus, and Raquel Alonso Perez was there to give me a full tour, including some majorly fun behind-the-scenes stuff. I honestly think my one-on-one time with Raquel had taught me more in one hour than my entire Freshman year at college! I didn’t want to leave! I got to hold pieces of gold that came out of the ground looking like sculptures, play with rough diamonds, see some incredible gemstones, and the highlight of my day was getting to spend some time with the Hamlin Necklace–rare and notable because of its gigantic tourmalines it showcases, which are all from the same mine in Maine!

Raquel’s hospitality, warmth and passion to share with me what she does at the Mineralogical & Geological Museum was accepted with much gratitude and I had so much fun! Here’s some insight into what Raquel does, illustrated with photos from my visit! Enjoy!

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I serve as the Curator of the Mineralogical and Geological Museum (MGMH). Our collections date back to 1798! After 230 years of collecting, the MGMH is one of the oldest, largest and continuously operated mineralogical and geological museum, built for the nation and world-renowned for its fine quality collections, broad representation of species, unique occurrences and large number of type, described, and illustrated specimens. Our repository has become a true library of the earth with over 400,000 objects divided in 4 main collections: minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks. My role as Curator is to provide access to the world-class Earth Science collections at Harvard University, encouraging its use for teaching, research and public education. The favorite part of my job is research and all teaching and academic related activities, in addition to working with the dedicated team of people at the MGMH, the Earth and Planetary Science Department and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, HSMC, where our public gallery is located.

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In total, the museum has around 400,000 objects divided in 4 main collections: minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks and ore deposits. Only 3550 individual mineral specimens are on display at the Museum, 145 of these include a gemstone of the same variety. My favorite examples are in the wider variety of crystals and gemstones. For example, the beryls, we have a whole case of them displaying 40 specimens full of light and color. I also love the tourmalines, with all of the different kinds displayed with bi-color and watermelon elbaites from Maine, USA. As you can imagine, we have a strong collection of New England minerals, gems, and rare species. We receive a lot of donations, but we couldn’t display our entire collection, even if we wanted! Space is a major constraint, but not the only one. We also have to make hard choices about what to share in order to fulfill the Museum’s mission. Our museum is not only about highlighting aesthetics. We also need to prioritize the display of specimens that will also serve reference and research purposes.

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I am a geologist by training specialized in mineralogy, gemology, geochemistry and petrology. There are too many “logy’s” in there! These branches of Earth Sciences come together in a fascinating way, giving color and texture to the world we inhabit. In 2006 I completed my PhD at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, where I studied how the earth crust is formed, by comparing it with artificial rocks produced in the lab. After graduation, I took a short break to have my two children, Marco and Amaya, and returned in 2009 to professional life to work as a research assistant at the Earth and Planetary Science Department, Harvard University. A year later I was hired as Assistant Curator to take care of the rock collection at the MGMH and got appointed head Curator of the entire MGMH collections in 2011.

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I’ve always wondered why minerals acquire a color and not other colors. We know so little about the chemistry and the physics involved! My passion, stimulated by my daily encounter with Harvard’s amazing collections, is to uncover the story behind nature’s color choices! My work in the past 2 years has been focused in tourmalines and beryls. The most common color of elbaites from Main, USA is green but they also come in blue, yellow, pink, colorless and with many different hues and tones. With the use of non-destructive analytical techniques, I was able to determine the chemical distribution, trace element patterns and color correlation in a suite of elbaites from Maine, Hamlin Collection. In addition, this non-destructive dual-technique used in this study (Confocal Micro Raman Spectroscopy and LA- ICPMS, laser ablation-induced coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) has great potential to be applied to other gemmological materials to also distinguish provenance, natural versus synthetic materials and treatments. My current project aims to better understand the formation of emeralds, and is focused on the geology of the emerald deposit of Irondro, Madagascar. In fact, I mostly focus on rocks from Madagascar, which is a blessing, since the MGMH is quickly becoming the main repository of minerals, rocks and gemstones from this part of the world. I also benefit from the museum’s vast network. I sometimes end up requesting research material from friends, donors and supporters of the Museum from faraway lands! However, my main priority and where most of my work goes is into ensuring that the MGMH’s collections are curated according to the highest standards of museum best practices for their preservation in perpetuity and use by future generations. Digitization plays an important role to achieve these goals and our ambition to open them up to a wider audience, especially those concerning research, education and public outreach, which will result in an online database of our collections sometime in the fall of 2017.

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Every day, in the environment I am, could end up being a highlight and making you proud of the work you do, especially when it can impact other people life’s. I would like to share with you a portion of an e-mail I received from one of the female students attending my class at the Harvard Summer school as a beautiful example. “..Here again I want to say thank you for bringing me my best summer ever. I really enjoyed the lecture. Every time when listening to the lecture, I really feel I’m being educated and have more knowledge on mineralogy and gemology. The happiness of gaining knowledge is hard to express; it’s like seeing the moon coming out of the clouds and lighting up a street in the dark midnight. Also, I love the labs. I feel so good identifying minerals by myself, putting everything I learnt into use. I’m also fascinated by the gemstone experiments. I can’t wait to get a full set of tools and practice in the gem markets back in China. What I really want to appreciate is that for all your support for me to do more microscope experiments. I know that doing the experiment before class means you have to skip lunch, I’m really sorry. The experiment is so incredible, I never see those features before, and I couldn’t fully understand everything without doing the actual experiment. The image is fantastic. I gasp that people ever create those ways for examine stones. What I like most is the field trip. The behind the scene of the museum is awesome. I never thought that museum work would be so interesting. There are so many stories behind every collection! I also really really like the field trip to mine. You became my idol when you drove the van packed with all of us and fed us snacks. Working in the field is so different and I think I need more field work to really become a geology people. I sometimes feel so shame that I learned so much knowledge but still like a baby when put in the field. However, going to the field makes a lot of knowledge easier to understand. In the mine, when I saw you standing on the shiny mica mountain, I feel like you are one of the best women in the world—- a woman who could stand in the field with knowledge, and explore the earth, go right after the unknown, a kind of woman I really want to be. It is this summer that I, for the first time in forever, really willing to go to university; not because it is what everybody do, but because all the knowledge and skills I could get, all the resource I could access, and all the fantastic professors in the future I will meet to motivate my life..”

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My best piece of advice for anyone in general is to follow their passion, work hard, overcome challenges, focus and don’t give up! The combination of passion and perseverance will bring you where you want to be.

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xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You can follow Raquel on Instagram —> @raquelalonsoperez

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Gem Gossip Visits e. scott originals in Boston, MA

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Minutes outside of Boston, in a town called Somerville, e. scott originals is a jewelry shop and studio where owner and maker Emily Scott Surette and her sidekick Mayble (an adorable Boston Terrier) make dreams come true. For Emily, this space is perfect in every way possible–it fosters her love for interacting with customers and clients, the studio provides endless moments to create, and Mayble gets to greet everyone as they walk through the door! That’s exactly what the dog did when I entered the shop, wonderfully sweaty from the heat wave that followed us up to Boston from Tennessee. I immediately fell in love with the layout and how Emily has decorated e. scott originals. She has incorporated some antique furnishings and decor into the jewelry displays, with some gold frames and mirrors…even an antique chandelier.

There are a few things that make e. scott originals tick, and working with clients one-on-one, making custom pieces from a very personable interaction, is at the top of the list. Emily loves creating new heirlooms from old, passed down jewelry, diamonds and gemstones. She also uses mainly reclaimed, anitque diamonds and recycled metals within all her designs, which we all can appreciate. Custom engagement rings are a big part of what she does, especially with clients who want something local, made by hand and feel like they are a part of the creation process. Emily’s warm personality and welcoming demeanor is just what the jewelry-creating process needs, not to mention her skills and expertise.

Another large part of what e. scott originals does and creates is their own line of highly wearable jewelry. Items that can easily fit with your every day look, like layer-ready necklaces, unique and fashionable earrings and fun gemstone rings. These fill the shelves and cabinet cases of the store and are ready for purchase. They are also ready for other stores, as Emily is looking to expand her wholesale market. Her target audience is ideal for any self-purchasing woman, gift-giving ease, and the price points are great. I did a little self-purchasing myself when I was there–after trying on the long Tuck studs in 14k yellow gold, I loved the look of them and how they could be worn stacked with other earrings I already own. I had to have them!

Before I left, Emily showed me an “inner circle” box that is presented to every couple who purchases an engagement ring/wedding bands from e. scott originals. The box features local businesses that come highly recommended to help easily plan your wedding day. Anything from cake makers, to photographers, and everything in between. You can see the full list here — I love this idea and I feel it shows what kind of business Emily is running: one full of gratitude, creativity and soul! And in case you’re wondering, she is an awesome recommender, as her restaurant suggestions were top notch!

Check out some of my favorite pieces below that you can shop from home:

e scott originals e scott originals e scott originals e scott originals e scott originals e scott originals e scott originals e scott originals

E Scott Originals

199B Highland Ave.

Somerville, MA 02143

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : SARAH APPLETON

WHITE bIRD is pleased to welcome Sarah Appleton among its designers ! Paris based jeweler, Sarah is a descendant of the Bonebakker family, with a legacy lasting over two hundred years in the silver and goldsmith business. Defined by a clean aesthetic, the silhouettes are fluid and modern, often catching the eye when the gold or a precisely placed diamond reflects the light. The namesake collections embody an easy and timeless elegance meant to be worn and loved daily. The designer agreed to share her memories and her inspirations in an interview…

What is your first jewellery memory ?

My first piece of jewelry was an original Native American Fetish Necklace given to me by my grandmother, which hung on my wall growing up and something I still have in my collection. She was also a jewelry collector and would only wear one statement piece either made for her by my uncle or a magnificent art deco ring.

What’s the first piece that you designed ?

Starting at three, I would make earring collections with my older sister out of paper and other odd materials, which I would then tape to my ears.  At about  twelve, I had my first experience working with metal soldering together a silver twisted ring.  Then about 10 years ago in New York I started working in gold and made the Pull Through earrings as a solution to feeling unbalanced wearing any other earrings.

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What is your favorite stone ? Why ? 

I don’t have a single favorite stone, I absolutely love working with diamonds (especially Navettes) and natural sapphires.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round ?

Double Navette Ring.

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Who are your favorite jewellery designers ?

Suzanne Belperron , René Boivin , Buccellati  and the Yazzie family.

What are your greatest design influences ?

The subtleties in art, architecture, nature, and our experiences.

What do you listen to in your studio ?

When I have music playing, mixes my fiancé makes for me with 90s hip hop, soul and funk. Also a little bit of Buena vista social club, la son charanga , Nina Simone, Django Reinhardt, Rhianna, Kaytranada, Disclosure, Chet Faker, The XX… Depending on my mood.  Apart from music I listen to audio books and NPR radio. Other times it is just studio sounds, Paris rain and the birds chirping in the garden below.

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If you were not a jewellery designer, what would you do?

Artist, or wood furniture designer.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?

Most importantly the people in my life, along with Lucy Dodd, Dorothea Rockburne, Ellsworth Kelly, Tadao Ando, Richard Serra, James Turrell …

What is your dream destination ?

My list is never-ending, but this year I would like to take a trip to go sapphire hunting and surfing in Sri Lanka.

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Richard Serra

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Tadao Ando

Photos credits: Sarah Appleton

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How to Clean Antique Jewelry: The Important Do’s & Don’ts

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For anyone that’s unfamiliar, antique jewelry is any piece of jewelry that is more than 100 years old. That’s a lot of years for dirt to collect under gemstones, metal to patina, and for grime to take away from the inherent beauty of the heirloom. It’s tempting to pick up a polishing cloth and buff away years of unwanted residue. But wait! Before you do that…

There is a right way and a wrong way to clean antique jewelry. We’ve compiled some basic do’s and don’ts you must know before you potentially ruin your investment.

*Remember, this is a general guide for fine antique jewelry. Some antique jewelry like cameos or hair jewelry require special care beyond what is listed here.

D O N ‘ T


1. Polish away patina on old rose or yellow gold jewelry

Patina is something that takes years to form. Some reproduction jewelry will actually try to fake this patina in order to make an item appear older than it is. For Georgian and Victorian jewelry, it’s important not to go overboard with polishing. You don’t want the yellow gold to be so light and shine like the day it was made.

Be careful if you’re having your rings resized by someone not familiar with antique jewelry. The tendency is to take rings to a high polish once the sizing is done. Advise them only to lightly polish the portion where the gold has been added or taken away on the bottom of the ring shank.

2. Use ultrasonic machines

There are times when it is okay to put antique jewelry into an ultrasonic machine for a very quick clean, and I mean quick. But to err on the side of caution, avoid using them altogether. If you have a platinum and diamond engagement ring from the 1920’s, an ultrasonic machine might be okay if the stones are tight and the prongs are in good shape. Most of the time though, the subtle but intense vibrations from these machines can do more harm than good.

3. Submerge jewelry for a long period

Liquid can be detrimental to some antique jewelry, especially jewelry with cameos, opals, seed pearls, or any other soft stone. For fragile jewelry, it’s best not to completely saturate the piece with liquid at all. Instead, lightly clean with a damp brush or cloth.

4. Clean with harsh chemicals like ammonia

The internet will often tell you how wonderful ammonia is for making your diamonds shine. This might work (in moderation) for new jewelry, but antique jewelry deserves a much gentler approach. Avoid harsh detergents, ammonia, and please never use household cleaners containing bleach!

D O


1. Make a gentle cleaning solution

Sometimes the best way to clean your antique jewelry is by making your own DIY cleaning solution. Most jewelry cleaners you find in the store will cost you a lot more money and may not even be as effective. They may even contain harsh chemicals.

To make your own solution, mix lukewarm water with a small amount of mild soap like Dove until it is sudsy. The key here is in the cleaning technique, not necessarily in the solution.

2. Use a soft toothbrush and lint free cloth

Once you make your solution, it’s time to clean your antique jewelry. You’ll either submerge the item for a few minutes to loosen grime, or if your item contains soft stones, you lightly dampen your toothbrush. Before you begin, make sure no stones are loose.

Then, gently brush your jewelry, paying attention to areas like underneath the stone and underneath the prongs. Use slow circular motions using only light pressure. If the piece is extremely dirty, don’t be tempted to use more pressure; instead, implement more patience. Submerge your jewelry into the solution again (if your jewelry can handle it) then gently repeat, repeat, repeat.

3. Make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly

You don’t want to give fragile jewelry a bath, but you want to be sure you remove any soap residue that might build up and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning your jewelry. Run the jewelry under lukewarm water and pat dry. For rings, take a polishing cloth and very lightly buff the shank, avoiding any area near stones or engravings. Let jewelry completely dry before putting it away.

4. Have the right expectations

Antique jewelry is never meant to look new. If this is your intention when cleaning jewelry, think again. Sure, you want to remove dirt, grime, bacteria, and all that other gross stuff. But you don’t want to take away years of character and patina. Is there a scratch in the gold? Leave it, don’t have it buffed away. Is the gold too dark for your liking? Consider a more modern replica like those from Arik Kastan instead.

How do you clean your antique jewelry? Any tips I missed? Let us know in the comments.

This post was contributed by:

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

Source: GossipGem.com

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Vegas Prep: Interview with Randi & Meaghan of For Future Reference

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We’ve got double the fun today, as our Vegas Jewelry Week interviews continue–we’re talking with Randi Molofsky & Meaghan Flynn Petropoulos (can’t wait to ask you to pronounce this for me in Vegas). The duo behind For Future Reference has a lot going on right now, including their first ever booth at Couture (shoutout booth 601), new clients, and a new brick-and-mortar studio located in NYC. Their places in the jewelry industry have evolved over time, but one thing is for certain, both have an intense love for gold, diamonds, gems and the people involved. Also tequila, sequins and vintage…and calling me Poodle. So glad Randi & Meaghan took the time out of their Couture prep schedule to answer our questions:


Randi's Answers

How many times have you attended Vegas jewelry week?

My first year was 2001, when the show took place at the Phoenician hotel in Scottsdale, AZ. Back then, everyone went to JCK AND Couture because they didn’t overlap. So if you think it’s exhausting now, it’s nothing compared to the two week slog it used to be!

Biggest tip for Vegas jewelry week you’d give your rookie self on the eve of your first time going to Vegas?


Wear flats during the day. Took me about 15 years to let go of my vanity and figure this out.

Name five things you ALWAYS bring to Vegas Jewelry Week.


Vitamin B tincture, sequins, business cards, Excedrin Migraine, Kloraine dry shampoo.

One big difference from last year to this year?


We have our own booth!

Favorite things about Vegas Jewelry Week.


Dinner at the SW Steakhouse is definitely up there. But mostly it’s getting to reconnect with everyone in the industry. After doing this for more than 15 years, I can say without question that it’s like a great big family reunion (that you actually want to attend).

Biggest pet peeve about Vegas Jewelry Week.


Not being able to make it to the Antique show because we’re too busy. It’s devastating!

Weirdest thing to happen to you during Vegas Jewelry Week in the past.


I legitimately would not know where to begin, I could probably write a book on this very subject. But maybe it was a private dinner with Steve Wynn, followed by walking around the Vegas strip with him while he told us stories about all the hotels he built. Otherwise, being pregnant with my daughter Goldie and not far along enough to tell people. I carried the same half-full cocktail around all night to avoid suspicion!


Meaghans Answers

How many times have you attended Vegas jewelry week?

THIS IS MY 6TH SHOW

Biggest tip for Vegas jewelry week you’d give your rookie self on the eve of your first time going to Vegas?


DON’T STRESS THE DETAILS. REGARDLESS OF YOUR PREPARATIONS, SETUP DAY WILL BE THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

Name five things you ALWAYS bring to Vegas Jewelry Week.


1) BLING GUARDS 2) CHANGES OF CLOTHES. I DON’T BELIEVE IN DAY TO NIGHT OUTFITS. 3) HYDRATING TONER 4) A FLASK OF TEQUILA, JK, BUT SERIOUSLY I ALWAYS HAVE A WATER BOTTLE AND COFFEE QUITE CLOSE. 5) ARGAN OIL

One big difference from last year to this year?


WE HAVE OUR OWN BOOTH!

Favorite things about Vegas Jewelry Week.


CATCHING UP WITH PEOPLE WE ONLY SEE ONCE A YEAR

Biggest pet peeve about Vegas Jewelry Week.


WHEN I MEET PEOPLE WHO CALL WHITE GOLD, ‘SILVER.’

Weirdest thing to happen to you during Vegas Jewelry Week in the past.


SOMETHING WEIRD HAPPENS EVERY 14 SECONDS OR SO IN VEGAS, SO THERE’S TOO MANY TO LIST. ALSO, I DON’T WANT TO GET SUED.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my coverage from last year

You can follow For Future Reference —> @for_future_reference

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Weekday Wardrobe: When Shoes Are Just As Important As Rings

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If you know me or read my blog, it is apparent that I love jewelry, especially rings. When it comes to fashion–like clothing and accessories–I’m the type of person to look for a deal or purchase online at places that feature trendy clothing mostly under $100, often called “fast fashion.” I look at jewelry as investment pieces, and I know fashion and accessories can be as well, but I have a tough time putting my money into cotton fabric and other materials. Gold is gold and diamonds are diamonds!

In that same breadth, I’ve been really into buying shoes lately and experimenting with different styles. They truly can change an entire look, from a simple outfit to a memorable one! I’m obsessed with these two pairs I recently got from Tobi.com — the Alie Nude Lucite Peep Toe Booties & the Faye Feather Ankle Strap Heels. I took a pair of fishnet socks and wore them underneath the lucite booties to give the look some texture–and the feathers are just so pretty. I love feathers in fashion; like a splash of feathers on a shoe like this or a small clutch purse done in feathers–totally statement-making.

Thought this would be a different take on my normal Weekday Wardrobe posts and hope you like it! Here are the details on my two ring looks and you can shop my shoes below by clicking on the photos!

Lucite Look Rings:

  • elongated diamond ring from Miami Antique Show 2017
  • sapphire and diamond alternative engagement ring from Maejean Vintage, stone cut by TopNotch Faceting
  • gold wave ring from Cleopatra’s Barge Fine Jewelry in Naples, FL
  • diamond elongated ring from Hampton Estate Jewelry
  • wide Eye of Warrior ring from Communion by Joy
  • various baby rings used as pinky rings and midi-rings

Feather Heel Rings:

  • tiny cameo ring from eBay
  • mid-size cameo ring from Ageless Heirlooms
  • different sized baby rings on one pinky
  • “Feel the Love” pinky ring by Jessie V E
  • large Victorian onyx brooch converted into a ring

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WANT MORE? Check out my past Weekday Wardrobe posts

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Spring Cleaning Your Jewelry Box: Gem Gossip’s Tips!

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It’s that time of year–spring cleaning! I tried Googling some spring cleaning facts and came up with 77% of people say they spring clean every year. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I would think that is a decent amount and glad to know that. I guess the other 23% are either lazy or have a hoarding problem…? I am definitely in the percentage that spring cleans…and I actually like to do a deep cleaning a couple times a year, not just once. When people mention spring cleaning, most think of their house–but I’d like to focus in on spring cleaning jewelry for this article. And just like spring cleaning your house, there are several similarities to spring cleaning your jewelry and the end results will have you feeling revitalized and happy.

Let’s get started:

1. Storage Solutions:

Keeping your jewelry safe, all in one place and consistently visible are three key points for a superb storage solution. I highly recommend the jewelry box that I own, however I did make a lot of changes to it–like ripping out shelves and swapping them out for more ring storage. The jewelry box that I have is from Lori Greiner and I bought mine off QVC about 8 years ago. Since then, they have made a few modifications to the design, but overall it is the same: a mirrored “cabinet” that has built-in everything! Here’s a similar one for sale at Target. It’s ok to have other jewelry boxes–I have several antique ones that I use for either travel or taking photos with–but for the most part, I keep everything in one home base.

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2. Clean Your Actual Jewelry:

After you’ve established your storing options, it wouldn’t be called “spring cleaning” unless we actually cleaned our jewelry! I will admit that I don’t clean my jewelry daily…or weekly…or even monthly for that matter. The only exception to this would be my engagement ring which I make sure to clean monthly and earrings that I wear often. Because I have so many rings, there are very many that get worn only a handful of times in one year, so I often wear and return back to its storing spot without cleaning.

An occasion like spring cleaning is the best time to give all your jewelry a good soak. For this step, I want to stress that many antique pieces should not be cleaned at all. Items like foiled backed gemstones, hair jewelry, mourning pieces, tiny rose cut diamonds that are often irreplaceable, pearls and seed pearls, and other soft gemstone jewelry. This cleaning step I mostly do with my all gold pieces, 80% of my diamond jewelry, sapphire and ruby pieces. First, I get a soft toothbrush and run warm water and dunk the brush in Mr. Clean. I gently brush over each piece and then stick it in my ultrasonic cleaner. I have one I bought from Gesswein–the one that has a steamer and cleaner in one (but my steamer broke after one year of working beautifully). Those who know the power and strength of a steam cleaner will never go back to cleaning diamonds any other way–so sadly my broken steamer is also breaking my heart. Need a new one! I usually use water and either a small cap full of Mr. Clean or whatever cleaning solution your machine comes with.

Depending on how dirty each piece is would equal how long you put each item in the cleaner, but I would say 15-20 minutes is plenty. Another perk of having a jewelry background is having a really handy tool at my grasp–a microscope! I usually take a peek at my gemstone jewelry pieces and check all the stones before throwing them into the cleaner. Loose stones will only get looser, or even worse–fall out in the cleaner. That’s my only other pre-caution.

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3. Go Through Each Item:

Now that you have all your jewelry out of storage and mystery boxes, under beds, and out of old socks (yes, people stash things everywhere), it is a great idea to give each item a thorough evaluation. This is when you decide if you want to keep, trade, or sell–maybe even redesign. You should also take some photos of all your jewelry for inventory purposes and insurance purposes. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve looked through old photos and said, “hey, whatever happened to THAT ring??”

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4. Clean Your Actual Jewelry Box:

Day in and day out you open up your jewelry box, make your selections and then move on with your daily routine. A lot of dust, debris and dirty fingers can add up on your jewelry box, so it is just as important to clean your jewelry storage solution. I made a video of myself doing this and posted it on Instagram–it got a lot of attention because I was using a vaccuum hose attachment and using it without taking any of my rings out of the case. Of course I was being careful, but it is much smarter to do this step when everything is out. My biggest problem is Chiefy’s white hairs that somehow get on the black velvet padding of my jewelry cabinet. Using a hose attachment on my vaccuum is the best solution for this, but you can also use a lint roller. I also make sure to Windex the mirror on the front of my jewelry box and dust/polish the outer wood.

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5. The Finishing Touch:

You’re now on the last and final step to spring cleaning your jewelry box! You should feel really good by now and the best part is about to start. I suggest you put on your favorite tunes (obviously I will suggest Girl Talk Radio on Pandora) and get to work.

Start with organizing within each category–earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms, and rings. I organize my earrings by studs, dangles, ear cuffs, etc. I have a row of pearl studs, a row of diamond studs…even yellow gold and white gold are separated. I used to organize my rings by how I acquired them–so I would just add my newest acquistion in the next available spot. I realized this wasn’t working out very well and one day I took everything out and organized it differently. I put similar styles together, similar stones together and motifs together. All my moonstone rings are together and they look way cooler that way. You can group by color of gemstone if you’d like–similar to how a closet is organized (definitely not my closet, but coveted closets). I have all my baby rings in a section of their own. I don’t have a particular way of organizing my bracelets or necklaces because I simply don’t have that many.

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I hope these tips will help you and motivate you to SPRING CLEAN your jewelry box! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me–you can email me at [email protected] or Tweet me! @gemgossip

I’d love to see your photos or videos of you spring cleaning your jewelry box–please tag me!!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my tips on how to EDIT your collection

Source: GossipGem.com

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